When working within the marketing niche, one vital component is being able to build up your client database. But where do you start? You must be able to communicate effectively with existing clients and be able to target and submit quotation templates to others who may need your services. So, it is essential that you learn as much as is possible about your clients and this will be an ongoing process.
Marketing your services takes time but you do not want to make the mistake of marketing to the wrong people. This is a common pitfall. By understanding the basic rules of marketing and using all relevant tools at your disposal, this will steer you in the right direction. One such tool is a marketing communications plan, and this becomes the lens through which you communicate to those who need your services. To assist, there are numerous templates available for varying aspects of the business which can provide a more efficient approach especially if starting out.
1. What is a marketing communications plan?
Often known as a marcom plan, this is an effective way to communicate messages to your client database because it enables you to create appropriate campaigns while keeping your vision. Think of it as a vital component that exists within your main marketing plan and a document to support your own marketing endeavors. It helps you to research existing client needs and to take consideration of any competition.
The marcom becomes a sales plan complete with carefully thought out strategies to ensure success at achieving business objectives. The marcom plan has two distinct facets and determines who your customers are and how they purchase. This forms the basis of your marketing successes, so it is important that it is included. Think customer analysis and communication process analysis. There is understandably, much to consider when you manage a business, from managing your time to building an effective marketing pitch, turn to Bonsai, the experts within the freelancing industry.
2. So, who are your clients?
A little research can help you to define what clients need and what you can do for them. To be able to develop a strong marketing communications strategy, you must place yourself in your client’s position and to think like them. What characteristics might define this audience for you? The more you comprehend, the easier it is to communicate regularly and consider their preoccupations. You can then find ways to make their lives easier or, financially rewarding. This works both ways of course as you must consider streamlining payment options for when your clients hire you. Successful planning equates to mindset. To connect with and build rapport, you need to understand their views and needs. Research this information and include it in your marketing communications plan. It may seem overwhelming initially, but, Bonsai can help with your freelance contracts.
3. What is a marketing communications plan and how do you write it?
When you start to write your marcom, you need to consider your mission. Keep the mission strong in your mind so that it remains a constant throughout. A marcom ensures all proposed activities support the big picture i.e. the end goal. This plan guides you and helps you to know where you are going and what you need to achieve. It’s a projection for self. It provides a tangible record as to what you want to accomplish. It must be dynamic and yet, flexible. It contains a collection of tactics and strategies whether short or long-term and you must include the main goals and sub-goals too. The marcom is driven by your comprehension of the target market and who you network with.
4. Plan your marketing strategy
To be successful in marketing, you need to consider all aspects of your business. Initially, spend some time crafting a marketing strategy that supports business goals and one that matches the ethos of your business. When you do this, you create the solid foundations for your marketing endeavors and can build upon this layer by layer. A marketing strategy saves you money, increases sales and helps to target services or product marketing. Note that you can have the best strategies but without effectively communicating to your target market, your business will not succeed.
5. What is a marketing communications plan? Can it work if you are new to marketing?
By utilizing a marketing communications plan, you think outside of the box. It doesn’t matter what experience you have, it forms a starting point. You know what you are trying to achieve and can deliver important messages to potential or existing clients in a few tried and tested ways. Using the marcom, you break down aspects of your business addressing each area with renewed focus. You create a strong brand, you develop clear statements that serve to benefit those who would use your services. You create eye-catching taglines and cover all main communication channels. To do this, you must always keep in mind your vision and mission.
6. Tactics to use
Consider all marketing and communication avenues available to you. It’s important to not rely solely on one aspect of communication although you will find some work better for you than others. Your marketing communications plan can be packaged differently to attract a different audience using email marketing to subscribers on your list or, perhaps using direct mail. You can also attend conferences and trade shows or provide print publications or brochures.
7. Integrate your campaigns
You need to integrate proposed campaigns within your marketing communications plan creating specific demographics which include age, income, geographical location and so on. You may also wish to consider interests, hobbies, values or even psychological traits. You build up a picture so to reach the right people. Setting strategic goals should also play a part of your marcom plan. This must include brand awareness, an expanded reach or how to develop customer affinity.
8. What is a marketing communications plan and how can it resonate with clients?
No one should know your clients like you. You need to engage and build rapport with these clients so that they turn to you when they need someone they can trust. The marketing niche is competitive, and so, a marcom helps you to forge and build bonds with new and existing clients. It helps you to extend your reach and plan. Think about the language you use, think about your inner message. Consider what you are trying to achieve.
Once you identify your target market, you move onto strategic communications incorporating the channels that you wish to focus on. You may allocate a designated budget for each but, you must match the right communication methods to the right people. Consider your key messages. The same content may be marketed in different ways and across multiple channels reducing financial outlay. This may not be possible with all channels, but it also depends on the information collated in your marcom plan. Do not spread your marketing aims too thin.
Part of your market research will be to discuss which channels are used more often with clients. This could be dependent on age, location or, services. Keeping track of time is important for any individual and so, Bonsai provides freelance time tracking solutions to manage the duration of tasks.
9. What is a marketing communications plan and how can it enhance your message to clients?
Your brand needs to be consistent and this means including style of communications, colors, logos and fonts too so, in your marketing communications plan consider the look and feel of your communications. You also must be clear and consistent throughout your communications, remember, the brand and layout along with your message represents you. Short messages are just as important as email campaigns and all communications must be written with your vision in mind. Align these plans with your original proposal.
10. Prepare the groundwork for success
Although you may find it difficult to craft the marketing communications plan initially, it is a tool that helps to focus your mind and to determine what you are trying to achieve. So, what is a marketing communications plan? It’s the tool that enables you to increase your potential to build effective communications with clients and to market your business with purpose and drive. Essentially, it forms the foundations of success. Take the mystery out of freelancing and drive your business forward with confidence, try Bonsai with a free trial.